The first thing that crossed my mind while I was facing the audience at the event was –“Where the hell are the boys ?” Even if one isn’t a pro socialite on the digital apps for the community, just by attending the queer events one gets well versed with the crowd in Bombay. But sadly “Read Out Loud” saw gay men and the curious absent.
Are we not interested or something? I’m sure many don’t mind cruising, from the suburbs to the apex of town for regular gay parties. The ones that were present – half on them brought in by me. Too bad you bad boys !!! You made me sad plus you missed out on something very exciting. Like a Bollywood flick it excited, it tickled; it made me think and made me sad. For the homosexuals and the nons, everyone left with a thought, a new thought, something that they could never imagine.
You know back in the days they thought the earth was flat and feared tipping off its edges. Funny right ? How ridiculed some radical doctors felt when they proposed “the germ theory.” Not to mention the plight of Darwin on the non-acceptance of the theory of evolution. But of course we know these people were well ahead of their times and had something “different” to say, and they had SUPPORT. Primarily all I’m trying to say is that buck up and show your presence next time if you weren’t there and doing something ordinary otherwise. Rather than “catching up“ with same friends talking about the same “nearing first world” problems, one must spare some time for such a thing.
I for sure do not underestimate the importance of a reading event like this, which said, “Strictly queer content.” The act of coming out in front of a stranger crowd and narrating content that is personal or otherwise (which is still quite “taboo” by its very nature) is a surreal experience. It was accepting – and how well we know what the lack of it feels like. It was not a simple reading, mind you. It was a sweet rebel. It was an effort to liberate, to emancipate, to earn a little glory and a gentle nudging process for a few that thought that “Queer’ism” is all about sex.
Being a queer, and a reader and with access to a good speed Internet at home I came out feeling wise and stupid. Never had I imagined the concept of “tranny bladder” the very basis of which is suppressive and sad. It charred my blood. The overall content was soul-puncturing for a cosmopolitan mind like ours.
And then it was comforting. You see people nod with you on your views and content like they understood it all. For me I always had my views falling to the other side of the fence- the side where no one stood. This was an approval of sorts and the reinstatement of my belief. There was flowing poetry, simmering words, hot tea, some aromatic coffee, sandwiches and salads. Why wouldn’t one want to come ?
Gaysi and LABIA hit the right cords with “Read Out Loud” and after ages a Sunday felt right. I for sure would be going back again with a bigger crowd with me next year and you, yes all you boys, you must come too.